When Everything Breaks, Something New Is Born
“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 ESV
The hard things are the heavy things are the lasting things.
Blue varicose veins and stretch marks spread across my body. I feel like an egg ready to hatch! I’ve felt the heavy pain of this baby from the beginning of my pregnancy, and it seemed only fitting that I devote this verse to her: “For this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison…” (2 Corinthians 4:17).
And like precious weighty metals to a magnet, this verse has attracted all kinds of heaviness throughout the past eight months:
Witnessing a healthy man trip on a sidewalk outside of an ice cream stand and get a concussion
Being two feet away but unable to catch a dear elderly woman fall and break her hip
Watching a woman experience the slow death of her mother
Receiving the news of a friend’s death
It all makes me want to lay down in the hurt, because gravity feels strong within and without and I feel incapable of bearing it.
But when I lay down on my bed, it is that same gravity that holds me. Being horizontal on a bed is not the same feeling as trying to float in the water (especially if you don’t float well). There is no floundering, only the stillness that comes with the exact counter-weight of a thing being heavier than you so you can rise effortlessly above it.
It’s God’s way of reminding me, “The heaviness is not here to press you down; I will hold you up.”
Breaking to Be Born
And when it feels like everything is breaking, something new is about to be born.
“Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue”
― Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith
Paul penned the words of 2 Corinthians 5:17, the man who endured lashings, hunger, nakedness, shipwrecked, and even being stoned. And in light of eternity, he can call it all temporary.
After having one baby, I can appreciate the heaviness now for what it will birth because I know that while it feels unrelenting, pain is a passing trial and the Lord brings goodness by way of hope.
The weight always feels lighter when our perspective is higher.
I know the man who fell on the sidewalk ended up alright, because the EMTs came and went. I don’t know how the woman who broke her hip will end up, because the EMTs came and took her with them. But I do know that she will be alright too—no matter what, God holds her in His right hand, the same God who holds each of us in the ache of uncertainty.
It is Jesus, God who came in the flesh for 33 short years, who said, “My body, broken for you” to bring us into eternity with Himself. He may have allowed His body to break, but He proved by breaking free of the tomb that brokenness and even death are not the end, but the beginning. When I have this baby, it will not be the end of my fracturing body but the beginning of our life together.
When everything in your life feels like it’s breaking, something new, something unseen and eternal, is about to be born.
Embrace the wonder as you stand upon the solid ground of Christ who went before you and died to hold you up in the heaviness. When the load feels like it will crush you from above, let Him be the firmness under your feet.
Know that this is temporary.
Have hope that this too will pass, and dream of what is to come.
*For an emergency stress prayer, you can cut it short and preach to yourself: "Stand firm. It will pass. Hold on to hope.”
What feels heavy in your life? Are you trying to hold it? How can you let God hold you?
When things start breaking, what is your first response?
Can you think of something eternally good that has come out of a season of heaviness or brokenness?